Here is a guest post from Mary Havlicek. There is a concern with Human Resources and its fit into Catholic tradition in how we treat people.
The biggest concern VOCAL has is that there has to be a TEAM at the highest levels of the Archdiocese of Portland. With dignity and value for each staff that we have hired with our collection plate money: a TEAM for Christ.
Here is Mary's contribution to a grave concern. Thanks.
"Something has come to my attention which you might find interesting
and you might want to put it on your blog: the phenomenon of “human
Let us consider an aspect of the
business world that has crept into the Church in some places such as the
Archdiocese of Portland Oregon. It has the very sinister title: “Human
Resources”. “HR” functions as if human beings are now just a
commodity; something expendable which you use up and discard like other
resources such as water or electricity or paper.
This is NOT a Catholic
or Christian concept. It takes no account of the infinite value and
dignity of the human person. Instead it treats people as a “resource”;
something which can be used for a time to profit the corporation, and
then thrown away. Why then does the Portland Archdiocese utilize
this anti-Christian anti-human business model?
Resources departments are always on the prowl for someone better to
fill each position in any given corporation (excepting their own
positions of course). Consequently, no one’s job is safe. Imagine if
you were a young man today working for a corporation with a Human
Resources department. You could expect that at some point down the
road, you will be terminated by HR and your job given to someone
perceived to have more “talent”, i.e. ability, qualifications,
experience, good looks, good connections, good personality, energy, or
just plain greed.
Your life has a certain instability about it. You
hesitate to do anything more permanent such as buy a house, get married,
or have children, because in the back of your mind, there is this
nagging feeling that you could loose your job at any moment and you
could not support any of these things.
experience firing at the hands of HR is demeaning and destabilizing to
the one being fired, destabilizing to his/her family, destabilizing to
the business or corporation which does the firing, and ultimately
destabilizing to society.
How many young people just live
in “relationships”, not marriage. How many children are born into these
unstable “relationships”. Does the instability of the workplace have
anything to do with this phenomenon? Of course it does.
only seems to care about corporations. It’s only interest in workers
is how they may be used to advance the profits and expansion of their
given corporations. They are not for, but against, humans. Why has
this devilish concept been allowed to creep into our Catholic
Human Resources departments which
exist in chancery offices or pastoral centers function as a kind of
opposite thing to the 2013 Labor Day Statement of Bishop Stephen Blaire,
chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human
Development. To quote Bishop Blaire: “Ethical and moral business
leaders know that it is wrong to chase profits and success at the
expense of workers dignity...They know they have a vocation to build the
kind of solidarity that honors the worker...”
Ok. There you have it.
(Arch)dioceses which have Human Resources departments must somehow
completely reform these departments so that they actually benefit
workers, or these departments must be completely done away with. (And
in any case, the term “Human Resources” must be chucked. What a